The SANFL’s new rotation cap will test teams both on and off the field, but Crows Head of Development Heath Younie welcomes the challenge.
The League approved an interchange limit of 50 rotations per game for Season 2016 exclusive of changes made during quarter breaks. The rule aims to stem the soaring number of rotations and stoppages at State League level over the past decade.
The AFL’s own interchange limit will fall from 120 a game to just 90 this year.
“It’s going to be a shift and a change for the SANFL. It affects everyone, but we look at it as a real positive,” Younie said of the cap.
“The players are going to have to stay out on the ground a lot longer and we’ll be able to really test their fitness bases.
“It’s also a great opportunity, as our players will need to be able to shift positions. We’ll need to play some guys in different roles and expose them to that, which is fantastic for their development moving forward.
“It’ll be great to see if they can perform in those roles and translate that to the AFL system.”
Adelaide ranked second for average rotations per game in the AFL last season, behind only Collingwood. No interchange limit was previously in place at SANFL level.
Younie said the adjustment would not only affect the players, but coaching staff as well.
“It’ll be a challenge for the coaches too as it’s something we’re not really used to,” he said.
“We obviously have a cap at AFL level, but it’s new to the SANFL. It’ll provide us with another strategy as a coaching group in how you decide to use that cap.
“It’s an exciting challenge and something we’re looking forward to.”
In another new rule introduction this year, SANFL umpires will award a free kick against players who kick or handball the ball out of bounds without it being touched. Balls fumbled, spilt or tapped across the boundary line will be thrown in provided the action is not judged as deliberate.
Adelaide’s first SANFL trial is against Port Adelaide at Alberton on Saturday, February 27.